What an exquisite bouquet of people you are! I am touched and moved, even today, even in this time of physical distancing – or perhaps especially because of it – by this ritual and by Rev. Capek’s original message to his people…the simple message that each person is as beautiful and wonderful as a flower in bloom. Each one of us possesses an inherent worth, an inherent goodness, and an inherent beauty that neither time nor our distance from one another can diminish.

That was Rev. Capek’s gospel, his good news, and as Unitarian Universalists, it is still at the heart of our good news today. And lest you don’t believe or have forgotten that that was a radical message, hear this: the Nazi regime of Capek’s day decided that his gospel of inherent worth was “too dangerous to the Reich [for him] to be allowed” to continue to preach it. And so they had him arrested and imprisoned.

Today, nearly 80 years later, that simple gospel of the inherent worth of all, that message that each must be treated with dignity, that we should love our neighbors as ourselves, that all are equal and that we matter – that black lives matter – that LGBTQIA+ lives matter – that trans lives matter – that brown lives matter – that indigenous lives matter – that the lives of poor people matter – that immigrant lives matter – that the lives of our elders matter…make no mistake, that simple message, clear as day to us, is as threatening to the powers and systems that rule our lives today as it was back then. And those systems and those in power will try to silence it.

And so we rise. Like wildflowers in a vast field, we rise. And we continue to rise. In all our beauty and uniqueness, we rise like flowers from the one rich soil that nourishes our lives. We rise like those organizers and activists who were part of the Farm Workers’ movement for whom De Colores, that unassuming and enduring Mexican folksong, became an anthem of joy for justice, a song of hope for the people.

We rise like those who marched in Montgomery and Selma and in Washington DC in the 1950’s and 60’s. And we rise like those who march today in Minneapolis, and in cities and towns all over this country, in Boston, in Waltham, and in Watertown. We rise declaring that black lives matter.

Whether as activists or artists, advocates or amplifiers, let us rise. Whether as radicals or researchers or writers of letters and op-eds, let us rise. Whether as philanthropists or prophets, poets or politicians, let us rise. May we rise in beauty. May we rise in joy. Ever sharing our good news, may we continue to rise for justice.

©2020 Rev. Wendy L. Bell

Reverend Wendy Bell
Interim Minister | + posts

Wendy Bell was appointed Interim Minister of First Parish of Watertown in August of 2019, and will serve a two year term while we are in search for a new settled minister.